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Euro Cup 2024: Georgia Stuns Portugal With 2-0 Victory, Advances To Round Of 16

Euro Cup 2024: Georgia Stuns Portugal With 2-0 Victory, Advances To Round Of 16

Georgia achieved a historic upset at Euro Cup 2024 by defeating Portugal 2-0, securing their debut in the knockout stage of a major tournament. Khvicha Kvaratskhelia opened the scoring early, followed by Georges Mikautadze’s penalty.

Ranked 74th globally, Georgia faced a Portugal team mostly composed of substitutes, marking their most significant victory since gaining independence in 1991. The match, witnessed by passionate Georgian fans, began with Kvaratskhelia capitalizing on an error by Antonio Silva to score within 93 seconds. “This is the best day of my life,” said Kvaratskhelia, the Napoli winger. “We have made history, and no one believed we could beat Portugal.”

Read more: Spain Secures Victory Against Albania With Ferran Torres First-Half Goal In Euro Cup 2024

Georgia’s path to Euro Cup 2024 was challenging, finishing fourth in qualifiers, winning their group in the Euro Nations tournament, and defeating Greece in a playoff. Coach Willy Sagnol guided them to third place in Group F, setting up a round of 16 match against Spain.

Looking ahead, Sagnol remarked, “As the underdog, you have nothing to lose… You carry no burden.”

Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo, aiming to become the oldest Euro goal scorer at 39, showed frustration as Georgia’s defense stood firm. Coach Roberto Martinez acknowledged the historic nature of Georgia’s performance, saying, “Georgia played the game of their history.”

Goalkeeper Giorgi Mamardashvili made crucial saves to preserve the lead, and Georgia celebrated jubilantly at the final whistle, reshaping the knockout stage matchups.

In Group F, Turkey also advanced with a 2-1 win over the Czech Republic. Georgia’s triumph marked a remarkable journey in football history, culminating in a memorable night in Gelsenkirchen.